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Everything posted by Paco

  1. It's been a little over 6 months since I ended my Accutane treatment so this will be my final update ever (unless some unforeseen disaster happens!) I would say that I am about 95% cured -- not perfect but definitely acceptable. The frequency of acne has gone down tremendously (maybe twice a week) and the intensity has gone down as well. This means, even the acne I do get is always small and those that seem like they'd develop into massive cysts one year ago, disappear in a day or two. I hav
  2. It's been a little over 3 months since I stopped the Accutane treatment so I thought I'd provide an update. The good news: I've been 90% clear during this time and the acne I did get were tiny ones that weren't inflamed and basically disappeared in 2 days. I am getting a few zits on my scalp near my hairline that are small and not inflamed but they last a week or so. Overall, I haven't gotten anything that made me think, I can't be seen in public like this! So I've been feeling fantastic an
  3. Thanks for the nice words, folks. Week 3 Post-Accutane Acne No current acne. One tiny pimple around my mouth during the past week. Seriously, this is the best I've looked and felt in the last 3 years! Side effects Okay, I'm gonna go through all the side effects I had during treatment and see if they've disappeared since ending treatment. Blurry vision -- 100% gone Back stiffness -- 90% gone Sore ankle joints -- 70% gone Dry hair -- Not sure. I cut my hair short so it's hard to tell. Som
  4. Allison, I didn't need to do any convincing. My derm, who was one of the pioneers of Accutane usage for acne treatment, initially put me on 40mg for 5 months -- he says that this dosage is the average amount for a successful treatment. After two months, however, I still had some current actives so he increased the dosage to 80mg. Some dermatologists may be more conservative in how much Accutane they prescribe. But if they ever give you the option of increasing the dosage or extending the co
  5. Week 2 Post-Accutane Acne Still clear. A couple minor blemishes around my chin that disappear in a day. Side effects I went one day without moisturizing to see what would happen. At the end of the day, I had some dryness around my mouth, it looked like I had just eaten a powdered donut. Other than that, I'm okay. I still have dry eczema like patches on my arms and neck. Joker lips disappeared on Day 7. My lips are about 80% normal now, I only apply light aquaphor in the mornings and ev
  6. Week 1 Post-Accutane Acne This past week, I've had one tiny pustule on my chin that was gone in a day and a small cyst on my left jawline that just formed today. This cyst is NOT an auspicious start to my post-treatment period -- especially since I've haven't had a jawline cyst in about 4 months. Let's see how this one progresses -- it's red and small in size but it doesn't hurt and is not inflamed. Side effects Dry, flaky skin around mouth and arms still going strong. The severity of cha
  7. Thanks for the support. My derm has prescribed Differin and Cleocin (topical antibiotic) for maintenance after Accutane -- I wonder how many of you post-Taners are on a post-treatment topical regime? I feel absolutely great and you'll have to trust me since I don't have pics, I'm looking good too. Let's see how soon these chapped lips and other side effects disappear!
  8. Treatment Recap DONE! I ended my 6 month course of Accutane (40mg for 2 months; 80mg for 4 months) on 10/5/09. I started with moderate nodulocystic acne (although I had no actives on the day I first started), was basically free of serious acne by Week 11, and finished clear at the end. Being clear was no surprise to me because I knew that Accutane would work – the real concern was whether I'd develop serious side effects and whether the results would be permanent. I didn't develop any
  9. I see no difference whatsoever. I'm not discounting your perception because I'm sure you're probably noticing a few eyebrow hairs falling out (I think mine did too). But you probably went from 100% eyebrows to 95% eyebrows, which is insignificant. Now, if this continues to the point where you have to draw on your eyebrows, then you'd have reason for panic.
  10. I don't think Aveeno is sweat/waterproof. It keeps me moisturized for about 5 hours and then my chin/lips starting flaking so I have to reapply after lunch. Again, like I said, my derm told me that he could start me up on Accutane whenever, and not only after 2 or 3 months. Of course, it depends on your dermatologist but there are no medical/legal barriers preventing you from getting back on treatment.
  11. Week 26, Days 176-182 Acne No current acne and no acne this past week. One thing I'm worried about is every once in a while, I can feel some bumps under my skin that don't hurt and are skin-colored. It's like they are cysts that would normally come up if not for Accutane. I won't be able to tell until I'm off Accutane and I see what happens. Side effects Nothing new. I missed a couple doses so I am now on schedule to complete my course on Tuesday, October 6. My face is clear but I have
  12. I've told some friends and not others. I've found that when I tell my friends, they have typically heard of Accutane, are supportive, and even had some friends who've taken it. Some have even taken it themselves or considered taking it! Think of it this way, if a friend told you he was taking a drug to prevent seizures, how would you respond? Probably with support and sympathy and say it's not a big deal, right? I haven't told other friends because the context just wasn't right. When you'r
  13. Just a quick update: I saw my derm yesterday and this 6th month will be my last month (so I have 11 days left). I am updating my blog earlier than usual because I want to write down what he said before I forget. He is known as one of the pioneers in using Accutane to address acne so I thought his responses might be helpful. His responses are in bold. Based on my initial status (moderate nodulocystic acne), 6-month treatment (40mg for 2 months, 80mg for 4 months), my results (basically clear
  14. I've found that the redness comes and goes. You might want to try the Aveeno SP15 redness reducing moisturizer. As far as office mates, you have two options: be honest and tell them you're taking Accutane, it may be embarrassing but you won't have to worry about making up lies and I think people will understand and empathize. Or you can just say that you got a lot of sun from being out. This may work temporarily but you'll have to keep up the charade for awhile. Good luck.
  15. Congrats! I am 12 days away from finishing so I understand your excitement. I hope your results stay positive.
  16. As a male in his 30s, you might want to read my blog. I am two weeks away from finishing a 6-month course so it might be helpful for you. My main advice is be patient, stay positive, drink lots of water, use moisturizer and sunscreen often, and take fish oil. Good luck!
  17. Stay on your course all the way through, no matter how great your current progress may seem. I'm in my 30s too so I understand your situation.
  18. Good luck Melissa. 80mg may be somewhat high for your weight but remember, the KEY to a successful Accutane treatment (both current progress and post-treatment avoidance of relapse) is cumulative dosage. The recommended cumulative dosage is 120-150 mg/kg. This means that you want to have 120-150 mg total for every kg you weigh. Since you weigh 120lbs (54.5 kg), you want a total of 6540-8175mg. If you're doing 80mg/day, you'll hit the high end of the recommended range around Day 102. I gues
  19. Week 25, Days 169-175 So close to the end! I don't really need to be updating since I've basically been clear for the last 3 months but the anal side of me is addicted to finishing what I've started. I am perversely looking forward to finishing up so I can write up a Post-Accutane Experience Review, sort of a "What advice would I give to an acne sufferer who is contemplating serious treatment". I feel like I gained all my knowledge by gathering bits and pieces from hundreds of logs but it
  20. I agree with you 100%. I'm in the same boat in that I started out with moderate to severe cystic acne (not just pimples, papules or pustules) and I've been on Accutane for 5.5 months. I had a minimal IB (hard to tell because the acne wasn't more than I usually get) and started clearing around Week 10. I haven't had a big cyst for the last 3 months and I think Accutane has been a big success. I agree that most other treatments, whether it's apple cider vinegar, ProActiv, Retin-A, deer antler
  21. Week 24, Days 162-168 Acne No current acne. No acne this past week! Side effects Some interesting developments. First, I had this massive pain in my left shoulder where I couldn't lift my arm above shoulder level. I didn't have any injury so I naturally assumed Accutane-induced joint pain. Actually, I don't know if it was joint pain or not (it hurt to massage the muscle there). My derm said I could stop taking the pills for a few days to see what happened but I didn't want to prolong
  22. Stay positive. If your deductible is $750, you've basically met it already so you should be good now right? In any case, you can't put a price on confidence and self-esteem. In the grand scheme of things, $750 isn't even a blip on the radar. Sorry that you hit a setback but if you're in Week 14, then you really should have only brighter days ahead. Good luck!
  23. Week 23, Days 155-161 Acne No current acne. No acne this past week! So in the last episode, we saw Paco doing pretty well but being stymied by small blemishes/razor bumps around the chin/goatee area. Per the dermatologist's recommendations, I switched from a blade to an electric razor. In addition, I cut down on the moisturizing on a hunch that maybe it was aggravating my skin (I get driest and flakiest around my chin so I've been moisturizing there mucho). And these tactics worked! Duri
  24. Thanks for your nice words on my blog and congratulations on finishing! You're about one month ahead of me and there's very few of us on here who have maintained their logs this long. Good luck on your future success. A few comments: 1. I've found that slathering on copious amounts of Aquaphor on your lips at night will minimize the Joker look in a day or two. 2. Do you moisturize your face before putting on makeup? I've always wondered how girls deal with this. If I don't moisturize my
  25. Week 22, Days 148-154 Acne Overall, I'm doing pretty well. I haven't had a single blemish above my mouth (i.e., forehead, nose, cheeks, temples) for about 3 months now. However, I have had some stuff going on around my chin and jawline. I wasn't sure if these were razor bumps so my derm suggested that I switch from a blade to an electric razor. I've done this for a week and it has solved the inflammation along my jawline. However, during the past week, I've gotten two "bumps" on my chi